Tag Archives: Bravo

Review: 19-2’s Daddy issues and PTSD

Monday’s latest episode of 19-2, “Borders,” had a couple common themes running through them, namely the relationship between fathers and their children and the ongoing stresses suffered by Ben and Audrey.

Audrey clearly isn’t over the effects of her beating, something that came to a head during an electric scene involving she, Beatrice and several citizens. What began as a yelling match and snide remarks degenerated into Audrey tackling a well-known folk singer on his doorstep. Things only got worse when his friends came to his defence. Being surrounded by all those men clearly brought Audrey back to the beating, and I’m actually surprised she didn’t pull her gun on anyone. (This is, by the way, the second week 19-2 has stacked a large man against one of Montreal’s finest. Audrey riding on the singer’s back earned a chuckle from me.)

Bear has got to be wondering what she’s done wrong to get such flawed partners. First it was Tyler and now Audrey. She must be pining for someone like Vince to be with her. Speaking of Vince, it appears as though the girl he shagged last week has got the hots for him, though I’m not sure how she managed to get J.M. and Vince sent to her place for the 911 call.

Daddy issues popped up for Ben, Nick and Commander Gendron. Ben and Nick arrested a homeless man named Leon (Serge Houde) who was scaring folks with his row of dead squirrels and form of Tourette’s, and Ben had visions of his alcoholic father in the man. Despite trying to get Leon the help he wanted for him, there was none to be had and Leon was last seen flipping Ben off and wandering away. Ben had a lot on his plate Monday, alternately faking showers to keep up on his notes regarding his fellow officers, discovering Nick’s iPhone unlock code for the SQ and attempting to find out what sort of business his partner and Kaz had cooked up.

Charged with finding Gendron’s drug-addicted daughter—who has some Daddy issues of her own—Nick and Ben used the downtime to discuss the former’s father, who was a criminal of some stripe and whom Nick assumes is dead though no body was found. I’m glad that, now that we know these characters, the writers are exploring their back stories. It’s fascinating to me that Nick’s father was a crook, and goes a long way to explaining why he became a cop. Is Nick a bad cop, or a good one? It’s too soon to know for sure.

As for who the mole in 19-2 is? I think it’s Audrey. Just a gut feeling. What does everyone else think?

Notes and quotes

  • “Idiot.”—J.M. to Vince
  • I can’t tell you how happy I am that Tyler is clean. I like a basketball bouncing, orange shoe wearing Tyler way better than a slurry, drunk one
  • “It’s such bullshit. A folk singer with clout?”—Beatrice

19-2 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.


Review: Back to work and (much needed) levity 19-2

A lot was made of 19-2’s second season return last week and for good reason. The storyline—student goes on a shooting spree at his high school—and a 13-minute tracking shot were dramatic, shocking and stunning. But the strength of 19-2 has always been its characters, so I was glad to return to that for Episode 2.

Every week I watch this show with a mixture of excitement and dread. Excitement because it’s so fricking good and dread because I’m afraid something bad is going to happen to these characters I’ve fallen in love with.

“Disorder” picked up just over a week following the school shooting and things were slowly getting back to normal. J.M. was back to his scallywag ways, teasing Audrey that her scar made her look like a hot zombie cop. After such a heavy episode last Monday, I really appreciated the scenes between J.M. and Vince, the former because at his best J.M. makes for good comic relief and the latter because he scored with a young woman who was very appreciative to get her stolen purse back. The foot chase Vince had with the young purse thief, followed by him wrestling with the man in charge of the purse thefts was entertaining as heck.

Speaking of wrestling, Ben was doing that both figuratively and literally. Still reeling with the knowledge he killed a 15-year-old (shooter or not), Ben hasn’t been sleeping, can’t communicate with Catherine and is seeing the young deer again. The only person he feels like he can relate to is Nick and the SQ has got him keeping tabs on his own partner; can’t a guy catch a break? As soon as I saw Amelie helping the surviving high schoolers get over their grief I knew Ben would hook up with her again. What I can’t understand is why Ben and Catherine don’t have that same connection. Is it because Amelie is related to a cop, or because she deals with damaged folks all the time? Regardless, if seeing her helps Ben hold back from spearing and choking out cyclists I’m all for it. (That was some WWE-inspired spike Ben delivered to that cyclist, wasn’t it? Edge would be proud.)

As for Nick, we’re getting a wonderful peek into his past via cousin Kaz (Richard Chevolleau), with whom Nick has been staying. Hearing Kaz talk about he and Nick’s wild old days was one thing, but to see the two pair to steal Nick’s motorbike back was something to behold. I’m looking forward to more revelations at the apartment complex this season.

Audrey and Beatrice, paired for the time being, provided another few minutes of levity when they discovered a dentist doing work in the back of his car. After quizzing the prostitute he was examining, they learned the doc had a particular fetish that left them both scratching their heads … and likely fighting their gag reflexes.

Notes and quotes

  • “Sweet scar. You’re like a hot zombie cop or something.”—J.M. to Audrey
  • I’m guessing it’s hard to pull off because not many shows do it, but the dialogue on 19-2 is effortless and conversational; no one comes off like they’re acting
  • “Stop resisting arrest!”—Vince, pinned under a 500-pound perp
  • “Dentistry for jizz-breath in the face?”—Audrey’s suggestion at the charge she and Beatrice could lay on the backseat dentist

19-2 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.


19-2’s shocking, stunning Season 2 return

The second season return 19-2 on Monday night features a continuous tracking shot that sets the tone for a series that already set a high bar for drama in Season 1. “School,” directed by Podz, who helmed the episode for the original Radio Canada series, captured over 10 minutes of stunning, shocking television in a continual shot, following officers Ben Chartier (Jared Keeso), Nick Barron (Adrian Holmes) and the members of their squad as they track down a shooter loose in a Montreal high school.

Ben and Nick go from the front office area through the cafeteria as bullets fly and students flee around them. The camera continues to a wall of windows to show a squadron of police cars arriving while frightened students weep against walls and pillars, praying they survive. It’s the most dramatic episode of 19-2 so far, a big deal considering cop Audrey Pouliot (Laurence Leboeuf) was beaten to the brink of death by a group of thugs in Season 1.

Monday’s return also marks a new direction for the Canadian Screen Award-nominated Bravo series. There is the overarching theme of Ben being asked to spy on his partner, Nick, who is suspected of being a mole by the Sécurité du Québec (SQ)—a theme explored in the French series too—but it won’t follow the same trail to get there.

“We get to the same place, but we get there in a very different way,” says executive producer, showrunner and writer Bruce M. Smith (Cracked, Durham County) during an on-location press junket in Montreal last August. “We did that not because we didn’t like what the French did, but because of who our cast was and how they had developed over Season 1. They had become quite different people from their French counterparts.”

Smith is a huge fan of the original 19-2, and likens Bravo’s take to NBC’s version of the British smash comedy The Office; they were given a lot of liberty to make it different organic being based on the same DNA. Benz Antoine (Blue Murder), Smith explains, plays Officer Tyler Joseph in both versions of 19-2, but they’re very different characters. Speaking of writing, the room has expanded for Season 2 as well. First season scribes Smith and Jesse McKeown (Republic of Doyle) have been joined by Damon Vignale (Blackstone) and Nikolijne Troubetzkoy (Call Me Fitz), a four-person luxury Smith says is alien in Quebec where writers pen their scripts at home alone and then bring them to set for filming. Lynne Kamm has kept things realistic on 19-2, serving as a liaison between real police and the show, which has entailed dozens of ride-alongs.

Smith says he expects there to be a lot of talk among viewers following Monday’s return broadcast—there are many, many casualties in “School” and the overall story mirrors recent events around the world—but Bravo has stuck by the producers since Day 1.

“We see this as a cable show, and they have encouraged us to go there with the content,” Smith says. “We are, at times, much more realistic and darker, and we show these characters warts and all.”

19-2 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo. The season premiere will air commercial-free on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.


Bravo sets Season 2 return for 19-2


From a media release:

Bravo announced today that Season 2 of its gripping original drama 19-2 premieres Monday, Jan. 19 at 10 p.m. ET. In the stirring Season 2 premiere “School”, the entire squad is embroiled in an intensely tragic school shooting with consequences that will profoundly impact all of their lives. The episode has been recreated for English audiences by renowned director Podz, who directed the same episode of the original French-Canadian version of 19-2 to critical acclaim. The tragic events that unfold in the premiere episode set the stage for Season 2’s overarching themes of introspection, trust and loyalty. A first look at the premiere episode is available here.

Season 1 of 19-2 was Bravo’s #1 original series, drawing an average of nearly 200,000 viewers per episode. Throughout its entire run, the series attracted 3.4 million unique viewers. For viewers looking to catch up on 19-2, Bravo is marathoning Season 1 of 19-2 in its entirety, beginning Sunday, Jan. 4 at 11 a.m. ET. All episodes from Season 1 are also immediately available on demand on CraveTV.

Picking up where Season 1 left off, Season 2 sees Ben under pressure from the Sécurité du Québec (SQ) to uncover the identity of a mole at Station 19. Ben begins to secretly investigate his own squad, further complicating both his partnership with Nick, and their burgeoning friendship. As previously announced, Season 2 introduces two, new characters; Cassius Clement a.k.a. Kaz (Richard Chevolleau, SAVING HOPE), Nick’s charming, career-criminal cousin; and Rita (Lisa Berry, NIKITA), Kaz’s girlfriend.

19-2 also sees the return of Nick’s ex-wife, Isabelle Latendresse (Maxim Roy, HEARTLAND); Nick’s former lover, officer Audrey Pouliot (Laurence Lebeouf, DURHAM COUNTY); angry beat-cop and Nick’s antagonist, J.M. Brouillard (Dan Petronijevic, SAVING HOPE); officer Tyler Joseph (Benz Antoine, THE LISTENER), the good-humoured beat cop struggling with alcohol addiction; Tyler’s brazen, no-nonsense partner Béatrice Hamelin (Mylène Dinh-Robic, THE LISTENER); straight-shooting Sergeant Julien Houle (Conrad Pla, THE LISTENER); and Marcel Gendron, the manipulative District Commander (Bruce Ramsay, CONTINUUM).


Set visit: Montreal the star of 19-2

Bravo’s cop drama 19-2 is jam-packed with a who’s-who of Canadian actors and actresses, from Jared Keeso (Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story) and Adrian Holmes (Continuum) to Mylène Dinh-Robic (The Listener) and Maxime Roy (Heartland), but they–along with showrunner/executive producer/writer Bruce Smith–all say the biggest role on the show is played by the city the show is set in: Montreal.

That point was driven home earlier this week when a small group of Canadian media–TV, Eh? included–were given exclusive access to the cast and crew while scenes for Season 2 were being filmed just off Parc Darlinton near Mont Royal. Dozens of crew bustled around the cramped quarters between two apartment buildings while a scene between Officer Nick Barron (Holmes) and a key figure from his past were filmed. Unlike Toronto, where residents would be kept far away from filming, those living in the apartments all around got a free show as they leaned over balcony railings to take it all in. It adds to the realism portrayed in the tense drama about the men and women who work for the Service Police Metropolitain.


“There is a flavour about the province of Quebec,” Roy, a native of Rigaud, Que., says. “I think Montreal is like what New York City is to Sex and the City. There is a passionate side to Quebecers that you don’t find anywhere else and I think it’s reflected in the series, in the writing and in the characters.” She adds that having a Quebec crew ensures that their unique joie de vivre translates through the small screen.

“Cities like Toronto and Vancouver deserve to be the backdrop of series,” Montreal’s Dinh-Robic explains. “The Listener was great because it showcased Toronto just as 19-2 showcases Montreal as this beautiful, really dangerous, exciting place.”

Season 1 boasted several examples of all three, whether it was Officer Tyler Joseph (Benz Antoine) looking out over the sparkling city from Mont Royal and proclaiming it his mistress or–in the most shocking scene of the debut season–a group of anti-cop thugs brutally assaulting Officer Audrey Pouliot (Laurence Laboeuf) with baseball bats. And while that last offering is an extreme one, it does reflect the complicated relationship some Montrealers have with authority in general and the police in particular. It probably doesn’t help that Montreal is embroiled in real-life controversy at the moment, as cops are working under protest along with other city staff against a plan to cut their pensions.

“There is not that same respect for authority for police here in Montreal,” Keeso says candidly. “There is a history of protests and corruption and organized crime. We’ve been told by the police to put a coat on over our uniforms when we’re not working. I’ve been on the way to the set in my uniform and had people pull up next to me and just start screaming at me.

“For me, when I see a cop, I shut up,” Keeso continues. “But here when they see a cop it makes them want to lash out.”

Season 2 of 19-2 is tentatively set to return early next year.